AKRON, OH – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Softball Team (25-15) matched up against Penn State Beaver (28-22) and were eliminated from championship contention by a final score of 6-2.
The Owls and the Lady Lions found themselves locked in a pitcher's duel early on as both teams were unable to scratch a run in the first three innings. UMPI's Sara Packard (SO, St. Albans, ME) held strong, giving up just one hit in the first three innings, while Beaver's Sara Foose (FR, New Bloomfield, PA) would match her effort.
Packard tried to change the Owls' fortune in the fourth offensively by leading off the inning with a single, but Foose would frustrate the UMPI bats and work out of the inning, leaving the runner stranded. In the bottom half of the inning, Vanessa Jackson (FR, Snohomish, WA) would lead off the inning by drawing a walk and be pinch ran for. After the Lady Lions were able to move that runner to third, Foose would come up in a clutch situation and drive in the go-ahead run with a two-out base hit.
After the Owls were unable to answer in the bottom of the fifth, Penn State Beaver would do more two-out damage in the sixth. After a strike out and a pop out, Brittany Garza (FR, La Feria, TX) would single and steal second. Senior Rachael Charlier (Burgettstown, PA) would drive in Garza with a single of her own. After a Jackson walk, Brenna Cepull (FR, Monaca, PA) would strike a big blow, smacking a double that would bring around both runners to score. The Lady Lions would continue to pile on in the inning as Jenna Petrucci (JR, New Castle, PA) would single and Foose would deliver once again, this time with a single that would score two more runs.
Down 6-0 the Owls would answer with a run in the sixth. Dalynn Jacobs (FR, Riverside, RI) would double to lead off the inning, and later score on a Packard sacrifice fly. After shutting out the Lady Lions in the bottom of the sixth, the UMPI offense would have one last chance to keep their championship hopes alive. Dinah Bilodeau (FR, Knox, ME) would single and score when Allie Lopez (SO, Kingfield, ME) would reach on an error. The Owls would not be able to close the gap any closer and fell by a score of 6-2.
The Owls will wrap their season tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM when they compete in the 9th place game in the USCAA Tournament.